The government is proposing to roll out FairFuelUK’s PumpWatch across Britain’s forecourts as a way of preventing unfair fuel price rises.

The proposal would see see forecourts across the country legally required to share live information on their pump prices within 30 minutes of any change in price, which could save motorists 3p per litre on fuel by helping them find the best deal at the pump.

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK campaign, welcomed the announcement today (16 January) from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

He said: ”Profit per litre has increased massively for petrol and diesel since before the Covid pandemic. It is way past time that PumpWatch has not been in operation. So, I am more than delighted that FairFuelUK’s decade of campaigning to see fairer, transparent, and honest pump pricing is nearing fruition. Years of lobbying the government seems to have paid off.

”I am delighted that a PumpWatch consumer pricing watchdog will roll out with teeth to protect UK’s millions of hard-pressed drivers from perennial profiteering by the fuel supply chain at the pumps. I want to put on record my thanks to Minister Claire Coutinho for listening, acting and ensuring there is nowhere to hide for those fuel supply chain bandits.”

In her Twitter ‘X’ post today Coutinho said: ”Thanks Howard & for all your persistence on this issue over many years. Drivers must get a fair price at the pump.”

Late last year Penny Mordaunt MP, Leader of the House, confirmed from the Despatch Box that the government wase looking into PumpWatch, and joined with MP Andrea Leadsom in commending the work of FairFuelUK, which she said ”has done a huge amount to champion the rights of motorists and to remind us that holding fuel duty, and cutting it where we can, is good for the economy.”

The move comes as fuel prices look set to rise after Iran siezed an oil tanker off the coast of Oman last week. The price of Brent crude oil jumped by more than 2%, to $78.40 a barrel following the incident.

The BBC said this week it understands the Treasury has considered a rise of at least $10 (around £7.83) per barrel in the international price of crude oil and a 25% increase in the price of natural gas.

And as the UK and US launched missile strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen in response to their attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, the prospect of growing conflict in the Middle East could also impact on UK fuel prices.

According to the AA, the average price of a litre fell below £1.40 on Thursday last week for the first time since October 2021. Diesel now averages 147.83p a litre across the country, down to a level last seen in early August. This time last year, petrol and diesel averaged 149.47p and 171.93p a litre respectively.